Selection Sunday is less than three weeks away, so we're taking a conference-by-conference look at the bubble picture this week. Our last peek at the soapy surface this week is in the Big 12. There's still a lot of anonymity here, so we hope to shed some light on a few teams you might not have gotten a chance to catch on the tube yet.
Tourney-bound: Kansas (27-1), Kansas State (23-4), Texas (22-6)
They've got work to do: Baylor, Missouri, Texas A&M, Texas
Baylor (21-6, 8-5 RPI: 12)
• Marquee wins: Xavier; @ Texas
• Bad losses: Alabama; @ Colorado
• Remaining schedule: @ Oklahoma; @ Texas Tech; Texas
• Outlook: There's very little left to ask of the Bears. Their RPI and overall record look very good, so defeating mediocre Oklahoma on the road Saturday would put them into lock status. This group has been good late in games this year; that's why the Bears are on pace for, I'm guessing, a 7-seed.
Missouri (21-7, 9-4 RPI: 39)
• Marquee wins: Illinois; Kansas State; Texas
• Bad losses: Oral Roberts; @ Oklahoma
• Remaining schedule: @ Kansas State; @ Iowa State; Kansas
• Outlook: Another team that becomes a lock tomorrow with a road win. The Tigers' W would be more impressive than Baylor's for two reasons: 1) the opponent (Kansas State) is better, and 2) a win would mean a season sweep of the Wildcats. Over at CHJ I predicted this group gets the win in the Octagon of Doom. Missouri has done a great job considering it lost a lot of the guys on the team that got to the Elite Eight in 2009.
Texas A&M (19-8, 8-5 RPI: 18)
• Marquee wins: @ Missouri
• Bad losses: None
• Remaining schedule: Texas; Oklahoma State; @ Oklahoma
• Outlook: Few teams have more mystery than the Aggies. They've got some solid wins -- Clemson, Minnesota, Baylor -- but no home runs. A lack of bad losses is what's gotten them to this point. I think this team is destined for another 8/9 game, and that's OK (just not another matchup with BYU, please). Going 2-1 down the stretch would definitely lock them in, there's no doubt about it, but that's not a guarantee. I think Texas defeats them Saturday, then they've got what could be a just-as-desperate Okie State team after that. Lose there, and it's a road game at Oklahoma to decide whether or not you've got a .500 season in the Big 12 on your resume. Don't bother putting your finger in the wind; we still can't get a good enough gauge on this team yet, even though February is about to come to a close.
Oklahoma State (19-8, 7-6 RPI: 32)
• Marquee wins: @ Kansas State
• Bad losses: @ Oklahoma; @ Texas Tech
• Remaining schedule: Kansas; @ Texas A&M; Nebraska
• Outlook: That Kansas game tomorrow is a big one. As you can see, it's a big day all around the Big 12. Oklahoma State isn't expected to win against Kansas at home, but is it so much to ask for the upset in this spot? Running the table in your conference is so, so, so hard. Kansas hasn't done it yet. Is it due? And Oklahoma State could really use another prove-it performance. The difference between a win and a loss for the Pokes in this game, I'm guessing, about being the 70th team and the 58th team. Few games have more on the line Saturday than this one.